Transparency in Government – Just Not in Utah

utah capital
Photo Courtesy of iUtah TV

“Our goal is open and transparent government,” Gov. Gary Herbert was quoted saying in the Deseret News.

“I think we should try to be as open as possible,” Rep. Dave Clark, R-Santa Clara, was quoted in the Spectrum.

But now, as they rushed through the process of getting HB477 signed into law, they blame journalists for their reasoning as to why they backed a law that now allows them to hide from the public. I would like to see the Republicans reaction if President Obama tried such a thing.

Last night, Herbert signed the bill into law after it was approved towards the end of the 2011 General Legislative session – despite public outcry. Clark later stated he wished he could take back his “yes,” and said the bill was rushed. But the bill was pushed through as a way to save taxpayer money – making it harder for journalists to get access to public records and completely hiding text messaging and other communication from the public – but how are we saving taxpayer money with a bill that needs to be amended later this summer? If a bill is not fit to be signed into law as-is, I suggest stop wasting time by signing it into law.

But this has nothing to do with journalists or taxpayer money, this is about our Utah politicians openly telling the very people who voted them into office that they will not be held accountable for their dealings and will now deny access to public records.

As stated on the St. George News Facebook page by one of our readers: “These public servants shouldn’t have anything to hide! Public funding public means complete transparency to whatever the public wants to see! Unconstitutional-or just fraudulent?”

Your thoughts?

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